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Boomkat Product Review:
Sunset Rubdown has evolved from being the lo-fi solo project of Spencer Krug (of Wolf Parade and Swan Lake fame) into a fully realised band. Perhaps celebrating this fact, Dragonslayer is an album that abandons the finely crafted multitracking and studio tomfoolery of their triumphant Random Spirit Lover album, instead favouring raw realtime recordings and very open, ungarnished performances. Despite the supposed straight-forwardness of it all, Dragonslayer finds the band on incandescent form, weaving their way through complex songwriting with great lyrics, tapping into '70s Bowie on the wily baroque opener 'Silver Moons', only for 'Idiot Moons' to build its way up to a chorus that harkens back to Interpol at their best (but with more marimba). The great pop keeps on coming, with 'Apollo And The Buffalo And Anna Anna Anna Oh!' managing to sound spectacularly sophisticated and hummable all at the same time, and later 'You Go On Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II) stirs the blood for the same reasons. The production maybe relatively matter-of-fact on Dragonslayer but the wonderful songs and their careful construction are of rare brilliance. Like fellow wordy Canadian and occasional bandmate Dan Bejar (of Destroyer fame) Krug proves himself one of rock music's most original (and on these shores, underrated) writers; Dragonslayer is at least the equal of anything else in his catalogue to date, and might just be better. Very highly recommended indeed.